Barbara Nwaba top American at Gotzis, Austria at the most prestigious multi-event on the calendar outside the Olympic Games; Canadians Brianne Theisen-Eaton and Damian Warner win overall titles
Gotzis, Austria—The world’s best multi-event athletes descended once again on the small town of Gotzis, Austria for the 42nd annual Hypo Meeting, the most prestigious multi-event on the calendar outside of the Olympic Games. For Santa Barbara Track Club’s Barbara Nwaba it was another great step on her road to Rio as she rallied on the second and final day of competition to finish 5th place overall after entering the 800m in 8th. While her total score of 6360pts was off her top mark, it was one of her best finishes against international competition.
Two other athletes who train in Santa Barbara in the Spring also found success on their own roads to Rio claiming titles in Gotzis. 2016 World Indoor Champion, Brianne Theisen-Eaton (CAN) won the two-day Heptathlon competition with 6765pts. The top three spots in the Heptathlon included Theisen-Eaton’s world leading mark in 2016, a Latvian national record by Laura Ikauniece-Admidina (2016 World Championship bronze medalist) and a personal best by Germany’s Carolin Schafer (2008 World Junior Champion). In the Decathlon, Damian Warner (CAN) won in a world leading mark of 8523pts.
Day 1 Summary
Nwaba got off to a good start with marks of 13.75 in the 100m Hurdles (1014pts) and 6’1.25″ / 1.86m the High Jump (1054pts) putting her in 6th place overall after two events. She would hit a snag in her next event, the Shot Put, with a toss of 40’11” / 12.47, well clear of her strongest throws above 48 feet. Nwaba would rally in the final event of the day, the 200m, clocking 24.04 and completing Day 1 in 9th place with 3737pts.
Day 2 Summary
Nwaba would start off the last day of competition with a Long Jump of 19’7.5″ / 5.98m slipping another two positions in the overall standings with 4580pts. Enjoying new found success in the Javelin in 2016, with rain descending on Gotzis, Nwaba was able to once again shine launching the spear 156’9″ / 47.78m, jumping three spots overall to 8th place with 5397pts entering the 800m.
As one of the best Heptathletes in the world at 800m, Nwaba would set the pace winning the fourth and final heat in 2:10.08 just ahead of Theisen-Eaton’s 2:10.98. Her mark would catapult here three more spots to 5th place with 6360pts and ahead of Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR), the 2012 World Junior Champion and 2014 World Indoor silver medalist who finished with 6304pts.